I recently dropped a bombshell on my kids.
“You guys need to know that I won’t consider myself a successful parent until I see my grandchildren passionately loving the Lord.”
“Whoa, Dad!, they said, “Talk about pressure!”
Perhaps. But it’s a good pressure and beside, the pressure’s really on me.
As I see it, if the shadow of my faith is not cast farther than one generation then the light of my life didn’t burn brightly enough.
I realize when you are hanging on by your fingernails to just get your kids raised no one wants to think about grandchildren. But a long term perspective can be encouraging. Here’s why…..
Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.
In a marathon you can afford to make a few slips. If you stumble a time or two the race isn’t necessarily lost. There is grace in a marathon that you don’t find in a short sprint.
If you have slipped up, stumbled, lost your temper, totally blown it as a parent, take heart. There will be a tomorrow. You can pick yourself up, dust off, get back in the race and still expect to come out a winner. All hope is not lost because you had a bad start or stumbled along the way.
Even the most awesome parents stumble, get sidetracked, fall off pace and have their days (weeks?) when everything falls apart (months?). It’s not the end of the world. Keep your eyes fixed on the long term goal and don’t obsess over short term failures.
What is a successful parent?
One who does not give in or give up.
Sometimes it seems our kids, even teens, are never going to grow up, never going to learn to control their temper, never going to begin to act like civilized human beings, never going to ___you fill in the blank___. But take heart. They will. It does get better.
Success isn’t about being perfect, it’s about not settling for less, not lower your sights even when you fail miserably. It’s about getting back up again and again. Keeping your eye on the goal and staying in the race.
There is a generation yet unborn that is counting on you.
Put your hope in God and charge on.
With Him by your side you can do this.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. – Psalm 71:18